Saturday, November 30, 2013

How This Ohio State Buckeye Coach Possibly Saved Their Season

The undefeated Buckeyes are down in Ann Arbor against a feisty Michigan team with a BCS title game on the ropes.  After a relatively harmless kickoff return a fracas breaks out between Michigan and Ohio State special teams players.  Heisman candidate and the unquestioned leader of the Buckeyes Braxton Miller runs into the fracas and  grabs a Wolverine's helmet.

Some Ohio State assistant, it could have been Urban Meyer but I am not sure, runs off the sideline an yanks Miller away from the Michigan player to avoid Miller being tossed.  After what happened in Auburn, kudos to this Buckeye coach for quite possibly saving their BCS title hopes.
Was this Urban Meyer running off the sideline to save Braxton Miller from being tossed?

Georgia - Georgia Tech: One Statistic Has Dominated This Game In The Mark Richt Era

Today represents Georgia Tech's best chance to beat their bitter in state rival since 2009. The Yellow Jackets are also looking to break a home losing streak to the Bulldogs that stretches back to 1999.

UGA will be without fifth-year senior QB Aaron Murray who was added last week to the litany of the injuries for Mark Richt's team this season.  Hutson Mason came on relief last week leading Georgia to a rout of Kentucky. 

Here are 6 thoughts on today's rendition of Clean, Old Fashioned Hate:

1. The talent advantage for UGA is MASSIVE.  Since 2009, Georgia has signed a total of 117 players.  Of those 116 players, 62 have been 4 or 5 star players.  Over HALF of UGA's signees in the last 5 classes are 4 or 5 star players.  Meanwhile, Georgia Tech has signed just 94 players since 2009 and only 9 are 4 stars (no 5 stars).  Two of the four star players were injured and are not playing today. 

2. This is Paul Johnson's best chance to beat UGA since 2009 when he seemingly had the upper hand in the rivalry.  His Jackets bested the Dogs in Athens the previous year and were 10-1 heading into the game.  But UGA pounded out over 300 yards rushing, held the ball, and beat BCS bound Tech with Joe Cox at QB (an no AJ Green).  Mason is certainly capable of repeating. especially because...

3. Todd Gurley is the key to this game.  When the Sophomore tailback was hurt, Georgia nearly lost to Tennessee, lost to Vanderbilt, and lost to Missouri.  While losing Murray stung the Bulldog hearts, losing Gurley would be the MUCH, MUCH bigger loss.  Look for GT to stack the box and force Mason to beat one-on-one coverage.  If Gurley gets off, UGA gets out with the win.

4. Back to Johnson and this rivalry.  He has put his foot in his mouth before about this game and I don't think he will make that mistake again.  A 7-4 Bulldog team with a backup QB gives Tech their best chance in a few years and maybe again for a few years as UGA will be more experienced on defense next season.  A loss would mean the fifth in a row for Johnson and only one coach has lost six in a row, his predecessor Chan Gailey. 

5. Under Mark Richt, UGA is 11-1 against Georgia Tech.  Richt was hired after Jim Donnan lost three straight to Georgia Tech.  Richt has five wins in the series by a total of 30 points.  Georgia knows how to win the close games. 

6. The key to those close wins and the series dominance has been turnovers.  In the 12 Richt vs GT meetings, the Bulldogs have forced 31 turnovers while only giving up 12.  In Richt's lone loss, UGA lost the turnover battle 2 to 1.  Last season, Georgia Tech actually outgained Georgia but lost by 32 points because of turnovers.

The only way UGA loses today is if they are severely out coached or they lose the turnover battle.  Even with the loss of Aaron Murray the Bulldogs have so much more talent and that is embodied by Todd Gurley who I think is the difference today for Georgia as they cover -3.

Georgia 34  Georgia Tech 28

Friday, November 29, 2013

5 Thoughts On Ole Miss vs Georgia Tech Basketball

The Rebels and Yellow Jackets meet in the semi-finals of the Barclays Classic in Brooklyn this afternoon.  The game can be seen on the NBC Sports Network starting at 4:30PM ET.

1. Ole Miss is 4-0 on the season and is favored by 1 point over once beaten Georgia Tech. The Rebels have yet to face a team from a multi-bid league whereas the Jacket have played an SEC and A-10 team. This is the first time this season Brian Gregory's team has been an underdog.

2. The two teams have faced two common opponents thus far - North Carolina A&T and Mississippi Valley State.  Both teams won both games, but Andy Kennedy's club did it in much grander fashion winning by 34 over NC A&T and 31 over MVSU while GT won by 7 and 17, respectively.

3. Georgia Tech has a recruited talent edge over Ole Miss.  The top 9 players for Tech have an average Rivals star ranking of 3.75 vs 3.11 for their opponents today.  Experience level is about the same.

4. Tennessee transfer Trae Golden played in two game last season against Ole Miss both losses for the Volunteers.  The Senior scored 17 points on 7-18 shooting with 6 assists and 4 turnovers playing a total of 48 minutes.

5. The much talked about Rebel guard Marshall Henderson was suspended the first game of the season and is averaging 14 points in 21 minutes per game on the season.  The Senior is shooting 45% on 3 pointers, but is just 36% from the field.

The winner of this game will play the winner of the St Johns-Penn State game tomorrow afternoon with losing teams of each playing for third place. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

UGA - Georgia Tech Thanksgiving Day Reading

A story on Georgia backup running back Brendan Douglas who was a GT commit until one week before signing day.  UGA had missed on backs like Alvin Kamara and Derrick Henry and called up Douglas who happily switched being a lifetime Bulldog fan. Teammates remind TB Douglas that he was almost a Yellow Jacket 
“Brendan was really a late take for us,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said Wednesday. “I thought he could play either (B-back or A-back). We'd recruited ...
 
 
If Georgia Tech loses the next two against UGA then Johnson will suffer the same fate as his predecessor, but a win changes everything
Tech's Johnson: No bigger game than Georgia 
In the proud history of Tech football, only one coach has ever lost as many as five consecutive games to Georgia. That man was Chan Gailey, who lost six in a row...
 
 
Jim Donnan and Paul Johnson are in similar positions. Both beat everyone else except their rivals.  Mark Richt made beating Georgia Tech a priority from day 1 and he will very likely go down as the winningest UGA coach in the rivalry (percentage-wise)
Seniors' careers marked by wins vs. rivals
In fact, these Bulldogs have held their own against Georgia's big four as well as any senior class since Tennessee came onto the schedule as an every-year rival in 1992. Their 12 wins match the win total by last season's seniors, who were 12-4, as the most against those rivals by any Georgia senior class in that time frame.

Before last season, the best four-year record for any senior class in that period was 10-6 -- a mark set by Georgia's 2004, 2005 and 2011 classes. And the 2013 seniors can pass all of them with a win against the Yellow Jackets on Saturday. 
 
 
The Georgia Athletic Department is flush with cash yet has to bus 45 minutes to practice indoors?  I guarantee if Georgia Tech somehow pulls off the upset on Saturday, UGA will have ground broken on an indoor facility by next season
UGA's trip to Flowery Branch re-ignites indoor facility discussion 
Georgia Tech has one, which it was utilizing on Tuesday. ... UGA doesn't want to give up one of its four, outdoor practice fields and doesn't want to displace the ...
 
 
The good news is most of the defense will be back.  The bad news is those players were not that good this season so the only variable here is experience. 
Bulldog defections to the NFL could be slim or none 
ATHENS, Ga. — It has become about as routine in the wintertime for Georgia as going to a bowl game and coaches hitting the road to recruit – underclassmen ...
 
 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Georgia - Georgia Tech Basketball: Talent vs Home Court History

The Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets meet on the hardwood in Athens Friday night in an early season, but still very important rivalry game.

Mark Fox has lost his last two games against Ga. Tech and is coaching for his job this season. Brian Gregory coached Tech to their first win in Athens since 1976 (1981-1994 meetings were played at a neutral site) and followed that up with a win at home last season.

Georgia Tech has an edge in recruited talent over Georgia. The average recruiting stars according to Rivals.com for the top 10 Jackets' players in 3.6 stars compared to 2.9 for the Bulldogs.

Georgia Tech                                                                     Georgia

Experience matters too. GT and UGA have essentially the same experience level from their top 10 players with 2.4 and 2.5 years of experience on average respectively.

While the talent advantage lies with the ACC team, the home court favors the SEC program.  Games played in Athens have resulted in 51 wins and only 29 losses for the Bulldogs.  This winning percentage is likely why GT is favored by just 1 point despite the recruited talent advantage.  

Georgia has not three in a row to Georgia Tech since 1994 and has lost back to back home games in the series since 1961.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Georgia Tech Football by the Numbers: The Best and Worst Games in 2013 (So Far)

The Yellow Jackets are 75% through their 2013 season so I figured I better post something before the season ends.

Below is a game by game analysis of Tech's Offense and Defense using my favorite efficiency statistic: Yards Per Point (Y/Pt).  Y/Pt has its positives and negatives as does the popular Yards/Play.  To me the scoreboard at the end of the game is what matters most so that is why I prefer Y/Pt, but like any statistic it is not perfect.

You may notice the Elon game is not included.  I don't think stats versus non-FBS are very valuable so they are not included in any of my calculations - GT or opponent.



The far right of the Offense chart is an attempt to measure team performance (Offense and Defense).

Observations:
  1. GT's best game by a large margin was the 56-0 win vs Syracuse.  I substituted a value of 100 for Y/Pt because the Orange were shutout.  This is the equivalent of a team having 1000 yards and 10 points - basically impossible.
  2. The second best performance of the season vs Duke ranks as the second best game of the season.  This give credence to the saying "you make the most improvement from the first game to the second".  The Blue Devils win also followed a bye.  Also, Duke has gotten better as the season has gone on making this win look better and better.
  3. The most recent win over Pitt was the third best game but this is entirely driven by the defense - who would have thought that at the beginning of the season?  The Jackets yielded 22.8 Y/Pt (the higher the value the better on defense) to the Panthers, 66% better than the Pitt offense season average.  Paul Johnson's offense actually performed pretty poorly last week when you compare to Pitt's opponents.  This was Pitt's second straight game against the spread option and that is a much bigger advantage for them than GT having tape on how they defend.
  4. The Virginia win truly was a win that GT would have not won in the past three seasons as Johnson stated in the post game presser.  The offense looks good initially on paper but when you compare to what opponents are doing vs UVA it actually wasn't. Five turnovers certainly don't help.  The defense made some key plays but was also worse than the UVA offensive averages.
  5. Johnson said he would like most to have the Virginia Tech game to play again.  These stats show why it was by far the worst game of the year for Ga. Tech. The offense performed about half as well as other Hokie opponents.  The Defense was just slightly worse the season average. Bud Foster truly does have Johnson's number.

(So is this blog back?  Tough to say.  Work is very busy right now and doesn't look to be slowing down anytime soon and a major life event is coming in February, but I was able to finally find some time and more importantly motivation to look into these stats)